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Royals Rumblings - News for February 1, 2016

Salvador Perez is in the best shape of his life!

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Rumblings - News for February 1, 2016

Sam Mellinger writes about the subtle changes in the Royals organization that allowed them to become one of the higher spending teams in baseball.

Even with their rotten local TV deal — the Royals expect their annual take to more than double when the current deal expires in 2019 — their ticket revenue has nearly quadrupled in the last 10 years to around $80 million per year. Along with that, the league’s revenue sharing has continued to increase. Some of that is with Major League Baseball’s forward-thinking decision to split all online revenue equally. MLB’s Advanced Media is widely considered the best of its peer group, and continues to expand with partnerships with other businesses and leagues, including the NHL. In the last three rounds of collective-bargaining negotiations, players and owners spent more time on revenue sharing than anything else. The result has been, generally speaking, more help for the clubs with the smallest revenues.

Ian Kennedy is looking forward to pitching in front of the Royals defense.

"Our pitching coach would just pull up numbers," Kennedy said. "If we just had an average defense, this is how much our pitching staff would (gain) earned-run-wise. … It was close to 40 or 50 runs in a season."

The Padres, of course, did not have an average defense — "Our defense was really bad," Kennedy says plainly — and when the veteran right-hander became a free agent this offseason, he began studying places he might like to play. One of the first teams on the list, Kennedy says, was the Royals, who he had watched play in two straight World Series. "If they’re interested, that would be pretty cool," Kennedy remembered thinking.

Salvador Perez talked about possibly re-working his contract, and he said he's happy either way, and is also in the best shape of his life.

In the months after claiming his first World Series title, after he cradled the series Most Valuable Player trophy on a cool night in New York, Salvador Perez dropped 10 pounds from his 6-foot-3, 240-pound frame. According to Perez, this was not exactly intentional....

But the slimmer frame? It comes from a pragmatic solution. "When I eat rice, I just eat a lot of rice," Perez said Friday, sitting inside Bartle Hall at Royals FanFest. "So now, just a little bit."

Ned Yost was not surprised Alex Gordon returned to Kansas City.

For most of the offseason, Yost said, he remained confident that Gordon would play out the free agent process, then return to Kansas City. Yost admits his confidence was momentarily shaken during the World Series victory parade, when Gordon’s mother, Leslie, came up to him in tears, thanking him for what the Royals had done for her son.

"I’m going, ‘Whoa, does she know something I don’t know right here?’ " Yost said. "So that made me a little nervous." But when Gordon agreed to a four-year, $72 million contract, Yost said he was not surprised.

"I asked him," Yost said of Gordon. "I said: ‘You were going to sign with us no matter what.’ He goes, ‘Yeah.’ "

Jayson Stark at ESPN looks at how the Royals gave rise to bullpen-mania this off-season.

"I thought: We didn't invent this. It was done 25 years ago," Picollo said. "And we just stumbled upon it." "It is a blueprint," Picollo said.

"But really, the way it evolved for us was more out of necessity." So here's their message to teams thinking about copying their formula: They'd prefer not to even have to copy it themselves. Not this year -- or any future year....

"We don't think it's a recipe for success," Picollo said, "to get less innings from our starters, by any stretch of the imagination. ... It can be done. But it's not the way we want to do it. We can't expect our bullpen to pick up that type of load over what's really a seven-month season. It's just too much to ask."

Mike Moustakas remains one of 19 unsettled arbitration cases. So what's the word?

Raul Mondesi (#37) and Kyle Zimmer (#89) are the only Royals on's Top 100 prospect list.

Minor league outfielder Reymond Fuentes is dealing with "personal health problems" he wants to resolve by camp (h/t Minda)

Drew Butera officially gave the ball from the last out of the World Series to the Royals Hall of Fame.

The spring training radio broadcast schedule has been announced.

The Royals decided to have Epilepsy Awareness Night the same night as Fireworks Friday.

Howie Kendrick re-signs with the Dodgers on a two-year deal.

The Diamondbacks are able to dump the contract of Aaron Hill on the Brewers for shortstop Jean Segura.

Where could Tim Lincecum end up?

How the Qualifying Offer is screwing up free agency.

fantasy baseball camp for women was a huge hit for the Boston Red Sox.

Kansas tops Kentucky in a thriller at Allen Field House with Alex Gordon in attendance.

Lions wideout Calvin Johnson plans to retire.

Serena Williams was upset in the Australian Open Finals and was a class act afterwards.

Is $29 trillion in corporate debt about to trigger a recession?

Its time to get rid of all the mosquitos.

What did astronaut Scott Kelly learn from being in orbit for a year?

Gilmore Girls is back.

Your song of the day is The Zombies with "This Will Be Our Year."